a blog about parenting, home daycare, adoption and life in general.
Home Daycare

Running a Home Daycare: 5 Ways To Help Your Own Child Adjust

While running a home daycare can be an amazing way to supplement your family’s income and stay home with your own children, it can also be very difficult for them.  They are expected to share their toys, their space, their home and their very own mommy (or daddy) with the many other children that come through.

It’s not the same as having siblings either, because daycare kiddos come and go, have different rules, and have their own parents that they get to themselves while they’re at home.  My own daughter even had to share her bedroom with 4 daycare kiddos for a time!  Needless to say, she didn’t actually sleep in her own room during naptime.  We really do ask a lot of our own kids when starting a home daycare.  So here are a few ways to make life a little easier for your own child:

wpid-wp-1412082698893.jpegSeparate the daycare toys from your child’s toys.  Allow your child to have their own collection of things that they are not required to share.  Our rule was that my daughter could play with her own toys on her own outside of the playroom.  Any toy brought into the playroom would be considered fair game and would fall under daycare rules when it came to sharing.

Differentiate between “Daycare Rules” and “Family Rules”.  For example, during daycare hours, I didn’t allow food to leave the kitchen unless we were having snack time outdoors that day.  But after the daycare was closed for the day, we often had tv time or a movie night in the basement with, of course, lots of popcorn, drinks and other goodies.

Allow your child to play alone or with other friends, as long as you’re able to safely supervise them.  Our own kids have to be with the daycare kids every hour that you’re open.  Sometimes they just need a break!

Implement special treats or routines into your schedule, out of view of the daycare kids.  My daughter got to spend naptime in mommy’s bed with a book and a small snack that I would sneak to her after the daycare kids were asleep.  I would also take the opportunity to give her a quick cuddle and extra hugs and kisses.  It didn’t happen every single day, but most days it did, and it really seemed to go a long way in helping her cope with sharing everything.  When my own 3 were all school age, I would bake just enough cookies for them during naptime.  When they got home from school, I would keep the daycare kids playing outside, and my own kids could enjoy their fresh cookies in the relative peace and quiet of the kitchen.

Schedule special family-only activities or outings on the weekends or evening.  Often I would pack a picnic supper during naptime and as soon as the last daycare child was gone for the evening, we would pile into the van and head straight for the beach.  It was an easy, cheap way to spend some time with our own kiddos that didn’t take much planning.  We also took a few trips on the weekends that were only one or two nights, but were just enough to give all of us a break from the daycare we called home.

Does your child ever struggle with living in a home daycare?  

How do you make it easier for your family?





Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Jamie Winterton Sam

    My 2 year old has been struggling with this. I’ll definitely have to try these!

  2. Stephanie

    I’m going to have to try some of these! My two oldest children have been having a very difficult time with the fact I am operating a home daycare. I have noticed a significant change in their behaviours and I know why, but wasn’t sure how to help them in this new adventure. Thank you, I’m looking forward to trying some of these suggestions.

  3. Kelsey

    These are great tips that have really helped my 5 year old adjust to me doing in home daycare. But, my 23 month old who has speech delay (testing starts soon for hearing problem s) is not adjusting well at all. Since it is difficult to communicate with her she cannot be reasoned with or understand daycare rules vs family rules. She screams most of the day, nothing makes her happy, and ignoring, time outs, cuddles nothing will make her stop. The screaming and tantrums die down when her big sister comes home from school, then down some more after all the daycare kids are gone and completely stops when their dad gets home. She has now stopped sleeping in her own bed and sleeps with her sister at night and I have to lay with her to get her to take a nap and sneak out of her room once she is asleep. I am at my wits end, has anyone had any experience with a child this little or hard to communicate with ?

    • Megan Elford

      Kelsey, I feel for you! That’s got to be so difficult :-(. I haven’t had an experience quite like that, so all I can suggest is lots of chocolate (or whatever your vice is, lol!). I hope someone else will chime in with some ideas, I’m sure others have dealt with exactly the same thing.

    • Erica

      I suggest learning American Sign Language together! It is a great tool to communicate for all kids, hearing or deaf. I sign with my 19 month old and we love it.

  4. Holly Jackson

    I think all you ideas are great and I am doing all 3. My biggest struggle with my 3 1/2 years old is every time I have a change in the daycare (someone new start or have someone leave). She starts having bad dream and will have to come in my room to sleep at night. I always try to explain what is going to happen beforehand but it doesn’t make a difference. I just don’t know how to help her deal with change. I started doing daycare when she was 8 months old.

    • Megan Elford

      It can be so hard for little ones to cope with change like that! Maybe she needs extra reassurance that she isn’t going anywhere and that she’ll always be part of your family. I often wondered if my youngest was insecure about whether she’s be the next to leave — after all, other kids were always coming and going. We tried to be really intentional about spending time together as a family, going places together and serving together. I’d love to hear how others have coped with this issue too !

Comments are now closed.